Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Big Four by Agatha Christie 1927

Original book blurb: Number One was a Chinaman - the greatest criminal brain of all time; Number Two was a multi-millionaire; Number Three was a beautiful Frenchwoman; and Number Four was 'the destroyer,' the ruthless murderer, with a genius for disguise, whose business it was to remove those who interfered with his masters' plans. These Four, working together, aimed at establishing a world dominion, and against them were ranged Hercule Poirot, the little Belgian detective with the egg-shaped head, the green eyes and 'the little gray cells,' and his friend Hastings. It was Hercule Poirot's brain, the 'little gray cells,' which brought about the downfall of the Big Four, and led to their destruction in the cave in the Dolomites.

First line: I have met people who enjoy a channel crossing; men who sit calmly on their deck chairs and, on arrival, wait until the boat is moored, then gather their belongings together without fuss and disembark.

My thoughts: This was a pretty quick read. I didn't like it as much as I've liked others by this author though. It wasn't a who dun it so much as an international spy adventure. I found it to be choppy as Poirot followed clues from one murder to the next, demeaning Hastings many times and keeping him (and the reader) in the dark. If you like Christie you'll probably like this one. If you haven't read her I'd suggest you start with any other of her books.

Quote: Yes, but for my quick eyes, the eyes of a cat, Hercule Poirot might now be crushed out of existence - a terrible calamity for the world. And you, too, mon ami - though that would not be such a national catastrophe.

Personal 100+ Challenge
Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge
2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge


Bev Hankins said...

Glad to see you off and running for the new year. I'm in the middle of my first one....

John said...

But one plus is that this is the only book that talks about Hercule's brother and the only time Poirot does something unthinkable regarding his appearance. Even if in the end... But I won't go there. This book will soon be adapted for BBC in the final set of movies featuring David Suchet as the great Belgian. Looking forward to that!

Sharon said...

John, thanks for stopping by. I'd love to see the movies. Hope they show on BBC America!

Bev, I'm looking forward to reading your first review!

Rose City Reader said...

I am on an AC kick right now, reading The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the first HP book. I'm such a completist that I will get to this one eventually, but I am thinking of reading the HP books in order, so it will be a while.